Busslink provides nationwide public transportation services in Sweden. They offer complete transportation solutions for both cities and rural areas. Their services include everything from strategic traffic planning to providing bus drivers, together with other customer related services. Their dedication to the environment is substantial, and together with SL (Storstockholms Lokaltrafik - Greater Stockholm's local traffic agency) they currently have the world's largest bus fleet using renewable fuel.
Busslink has twelve service stations throughout Sweden, where maintenance and service take place. They were looking for a solution to make the management of spare parts easier and more accurate, so Busslink went to CUB Systems, a Datalogic Mobile Partner, and asked them to suggest a solution based on mobile computers.
Spare Part Management
A service order is created in advance in the system for all planned maintenance operations. It shows which bus needs maintenance, what shall be done and which spare parts should be used. If additional spare parts not written on the order are needed, the service technician takes the Memor™ mobile computer, enters which part is needed, reads the location on the screen and picks it. When the part is picked from the shelf, the technician scans the barcode on the label. For emergency maintenance (i.e. when a bus breaks down), an order must be created in the main system and spare parts are picked as needed.
Communication with Mobile Computers
By placing the Memor™ in an Ethernet cradle, information is updated both to and from the host system. When the host system receives the information, the warehouse levels are updated and the correct cost center is debited. In order for the mobile computer to communicate with Busslink's system, Datalogic Mobile's Quality Partner, CUB Systems, has created a communication solution called CUBCOM. CUBCOM is centrally installed on the server at the head office and communicates with Memor™ mobile computers at the various garages. If firmware/software is updated, the Memor™ is automatically updated the next time it is placed in the Ethernet cradle.
Before this new solution was implemented, the management of spare parts was done manually, as is still the case in the service stations where the solution has not been installed yet. In these cases, the technician writes which parts have been taken from the shelves on a piece of paper. However, this means , that the warehouse balance is not usually completely accurate, since the operator sometimes forgets to write down which parts have been taken or a mistake is made when registering it in the system, often due to sloppy handwriting. The new solution with Memor™ mobile computers should improve accuracy of the warehouse levels.
"It took a bit more time for those of us who are a bit older to get used to these mobile computers, but now it works well," states Hans Håkansson who works as a service technician and can see the advantages with the system. "For our younger colleagues, the learning process was much shorter. Now it is much easier to find the spare parts as you can see the location on the screen".
When it came to choosing a mobile computer, CUB Systems suggested several models that were rugged and were able to read bar codes at different distances and on different materials, i.e. boxes, shelves or directly on the spare part. They chose Memor™, since it was small and handy but at the same time rugged and powerful.
Now the solution will be installed in the rest of the service stations, and, after that, development of the software to include inventory of articles and time stamping.
Industry: Transport & Logistics
Application: Picking, Inventory
Datalogic Mobile Solution: Warehousing
Datalogic Mobile Products: Memor™
Datalogic Mobile Partner: CUB Systems